Ben and I are looking for an app developer or website developer to help us deliver a new construction training initiative that Think Up is bidding for. If you are interested then drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us. If possible we would like to get a very approximate estimate of delivery costs by Wednesday 2nd November. Thanks for reading!
This project has it’s origins in a CITB-co-funded piece of work to identify the most economically significant causes of error in construction. This research project was called the ‘Get it Right Initiative’ and the outputs can be accessed from the Get It Right Initiative website.
We reviewed the findings of this report and concluded that one way to make a signifcant contribution to reducing error is to create better, just-in-time, task-specific training for site operatives.
Training for site operatives is typically provided in the form of apprenticeships: a combination of on-the-job, site-based, experience; and classroom, or workshop- based, learning in a FE College or similar setting. However, research from the Get it Right Initiative identified that operatives “didn’t know what good looked like” or “used tools inappropriately” or “used one method in college but then some other method on site”.
On less controlled domestic scale sites it is evident that operatives are searching online for guidance on how to do construction tasks ranging from doing slump tests to installing fibreglass roofs. Much of the content available online is incomplete, incorrect and sometimes unsafe. One of the most insightful comments was to the effect that “in general people want to do the job well, efficiently and not have to come back and do it again….but that often they didn’t know how to do the job at hand and are embarrassed to ask”.
Of course, we recognise that training already exists for most tasks that are carried-out by site operatives. We also recognise that there is a difference between having been on a course, having successfully carried out a particular site operation in the past, as an apprentice; and having the right knowledge in mind at the point of carrying out that task on site.
The outline proposal
Our proposal, to address the above challenges, is to provide site operatives with just-in-time knowledge for common construction site tasks by creating a construction how-to video series, a comprehensive video library that explains how to carry-out common construction tasks.
These videos will be high-spec, designed to bring clear focus to the task at hand, and with clear messaging. We propose that the series will be available both online, and accessible on site, via a mobile-optimised website (which is where the need for a programmer/app developer comes in).
The tasks that we propose to focus-on are those which are associated with the most common and significant causes of error in different sectors.
The videos will be free to access, and could be used as part of site operatives’ formal training, or in downtime before carrying- out a particular task.
As part of the website, we would seek to build in functionality that would track how many hours of video a participant has watched and test users on their understanding of the content, data which could be used as a record of their on-going training and development.
Reference projects/previous work
To us this feels like a natural progression from two previous projects that we have done on related themes.
Bare Essentials of Concrete
This is a series of films we created two years ago to help people who work with concrete to undersatnd the theory which governs its behaviour on site. There are in fact three series:
- The Bare Essentials of Concrete
- The Bare Essentials of Reinforced Concrete
- The Bare Essentials of Pre-cast Concrete
We expect the content for these new videos to be much more practical, but they illustrate the quality of the production that we are aiming for.
This is a multiple-choice quiz that we developed to help engineers develop their understanding of general engineering knowledge. Check out engineeringmastermind.org For this project we expect to use some of the features of Engineering Mastermind: multiple choice functionality; the ability for users to register their details, and save their scores on the multiple choice quizes.
Outline spec for this project
At this stage in the project, we do not yet know whether the digital tool should be a mobile-optimised website or an app. Either way, the following requirements apply:
The site needs to be designed for people who have very limited English.
It is hard specify exact userability objectives at this stage but we will use an agile project development process to regularly test the tool during development. We expect to have at least three rounds of tests with site operatives and HR managers during the development of the tool and the video content.
This is the part of the tool that the site operative sees. It has the following key sections
This is where the site operative sees the available training videos, and can see which ones they have watched before.
This walks through how the site works. It simply explains that the users need to watch the videos, answer the questions, go back to the videos if they are unsure, and get 10/10 to win the badge.
This is where the site operative watches the training video. It contains the title of the video and a simple text description of what the video is. There is space to attach sponsor information for the video (name, logo and link to sponsor’s site)
Having watched the video, this is where the site operative answers a series of multiple choice questions based on the content of the video. If they need a clue they can go back to watch the video, and then return to the same place in the quiz. NB, players are given a score on the basis of how few attempts they take to answer the question.
This is where the site operative can see what badges they have won, representing training that they have completed, and how long ago they did it. In due course we might want to build in functionality in which these badges disolve over time and they need to resit the badge. NB, the trophy cabinet could be integrated somehow into the video player view.
HR manager view
The HR manager view is a web page that provides an overview of the progress that their members of staff are making.
It is a table that shows members of staff, which badges they have won, and how many hours of CPD each of their members of staff has completed. They also see the score, which is an indication of how few guesses each learner is using to win the badge.
This page explains what the web app/ app looks is about. Company HR managers can log-in to set up an account for their staff. Site operatives can access the web-app or download the mobile app.
There is a leaderboard showing which company has done the most CPD in the last 12 months.
- Site operative has some downtime on site because something is stopping her/him from carring out their current task. They go to the site cabin and use the time to clock up some more training hours.
- They take out their smart phone and access the tool (web app or mobile app).
- They can see a list of training videos that they can watch, which ones they have watched, and whether they passed the test at the end of the video. The menu might look a bit like this page on Engineering Mastermind.
- They select a video to watch. They see a page that tells them what the video is about. They choose to watch the video.
- The video plays, they watch the screen and listen to the sound on the phone’s speaker.
- When the video is finished, they can proceed to answering hte questions.
- They are asked up to ten multiple -choice questions about the film. Use Engineering Mastermind questions as an example for how the multliple choice questions would work (It is unlikely that we will offer a clue though).
- If they are unsure about an answer, they can go back and view the video again, and then resume their quiz from where they left off.
- They need to get 10/10 to complete the quiz.
- When they complete a quiz successfully, they win a badge, which get’s added to a trophy cabinet which they can access.
- When they have completed a quiz they are invited to try the next quiz.
- HR manager logs on to a webpage by entering their name and password
- They see in front of them details of who in their firm is using the app, what quizes they have completed, and how many hours of CPD this represents.